AS Elections 2016: Meet Director of Budget Management candidate Dario Gentiletti

At the age of 19, Dario Gentiletti left his homeland of Italy to build a franchise of Italian restaurants in Thailand with his brother and their two best friends. It was this experience that taught him to be financially responsible. "The most important thing is to control the money," he said. "There is no more important thing to know than how every cent is used when people are in business for you."

After Thailand, Gentiletti moved to Santa Monica with the purpose of being an entrepreneur and paying back his mother for everything she did for him. His goal is to transfer to Berkeley's Haas School of Business and then get a masters at Stanford University. Until then, between a math and business class, he's a club president and commissioner for Phi Theta Kappa's, and a digital entrepreneur focused on self-development.

In addition to his active involvement with students, Gentiletti has experience from last year as commissioner for the AS President Jesse Randel. His experience in AS led him to observing practices and finding other solutions.

"The biggest problem of SMC students is the broken bridge between them and the administration," he said. "I would say the math department, the parking lot or the book prices because I think there is something behind those problems, which is the lack of involvement and awareness of our power... If we cultivate a culture of student leadership, we can build an effective and active bridge between students and administration that will make more pressure to solve the problems."

Gentiletti also finds guidance from Sam Ross, the current Director of Budget Management. Gentiletti said, "He's one of the most dedicated and hard workers on the AS Board. He is the master of what he does. I talked with Sam before running for the board and despite that he explained to me how hard the budget management position is, I decided to run."

It was his first business franchise that taught him the detailed and systematic way of handling money.

"Compared to that, managing the millions of Santa Monica College is not a joke," he said. This has led him to run for the role so he can make an impact, project his vision of raising awareness to the college finances and utilize prior experiences.